Examining the role of culture and cultural perceptions of aging and dementia in the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of age-related cognitive impairment remains an understudied area of clinical neuropsychology. This paper describes a qualitative study based on a series of key informant group interviews with an Aboriginal Grandmothers Group in the province of Saskatchewan. Thematic analysis was employed in an exploration of Aboriginal perceptions of normal aging and dementia and an investigation of issues related to the development of culturally appropriate assessment techniques. Three related themes were identified that highlighted Aboriginal experiences of aging, caregiving, and dementia within the healthcare system: (1) cognitive and behavioural changes were perceived as a normal expectation of the aging process and a circular conception of the lifespan was identified, with aging seen as going back "back to the baby stage", (2) a "big change in culture" was linked by Grandmothers to Aboriginal health, illness (including dementia), and changes in the normal aging process, and (3) the importance of culturally grounded healthcare both related to review of assessment tools, but also within the context of a more general discussion of experiences with the healthcare system. Themes of sociocultural changes leading to lifestyle changes and disruption of the family unit and community caregiving practices, and viewing memory loss and behavioural changes as a normal part of the aging process were consistent with previous work with ethnic minorities. This research points to the need to understand Aboriginal perceptions of aging and dementia in informing appropriate assessment and treatment of age-related cognitive impairment and dementia in Aboriginal seniors.
Thirty-five percent of Canadians over the age of 85 have dementia, and up to 90% of their home care is provided by family and friends. The purpose of this study was to explore the use and satisfaction with home and community-based services for persons with dementia from the perspectives of family caregivers. The study was conducted using an interpretive, descriptive, qualitative approach. Six focus groups (N = 36) and three personal interviews were conducted with rural and urban caregivers in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, Canada. Using Lubrosky's (1994) thematic analysis, the overarching themes identified were availability and acceptability of services. The findings suggest a need for an integrated continuing care model that includes the person living with dementia and their family caregivers as partners in care, addresses all of the determinants of health, and embraces sensitivity, diversity, flexibility, and supportive services to enhance the availability and acceptability of Canadian home and community-based services.
This article examines the barriers to participation in continuing education activities that are perceived by rural and remote registered nurses in Canada.
The data are drawn from a national survey that was part of a larger national project, "The Nature of Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada."
Perceived barriers to participation in continuing education activities include the isolation of rural nurses and time and financial constraints. Nurses who perceived barriers to participation were more likely to be middle-aged, unmarried, and working full-time than nurses who did not perceive barriers. They were also more likely to possess higher levels of nursing education and have children or dependents. The perception of barriers to participation was also associated with lower job and scheduling satisfaction.
Rural and remote registered nurses have moderately high levels of participation in continuing education; however, participation and job satisfaction can be improved if some of the barriers identified are addressed.
To investigate family physicians' differential diagnoses of clinical-scenario patients presenting with symptoms of either generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or a major depressive episode (MDE).
A total of 331 family physicians practising in Saskatchewan as of December 2007.
Type and number of physicians' differential diagnoses for a GAD-scenario patient and an MDE-scenario patient.
The survey response rate was 49.7% (331 of 666 surveys returned). Most physicians suggested a diagnosis of anxiety (82.5%) for the GAD-scenario patient and a diagnosis of depression (84.2%) for the MDE-scenario patient. In descending order, the 5 most frequent differential diagnoses for the GAD-scenario patient were anxiety, hyperthyroidism, depression, panic disorder or attack, and bipolar disorder. The 5 most frequent differential diagnoses for the MDE-scenario patient were depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, and anemia. Neither a diagnosis of anxiety nor a diagnosis of depression was associated with physicians' personal attributes (sex, age, and years in practice) or organizational setting (number of total patient visits per week, private office or clinic, solo practice, Internet access, and rural practice setting). However, physicians in solo practice suggested fewer differential diagnoses for the GAD-scenario patient than those in group practice; physicians in practice 30 years or longer suggested fewer differential diagnoses for the MDE-scenario patient than those in practice fewer than 10 years. On average, physicians suggested 3 differential diagnoses for each of the scenarios.
Most family physicians recognize depression and anxiety in patients presenting with symptoms of these disorders and consider an average of 3 differential diagnoses in each of these cases.
Cites: Can Fam Physician. 2008 Jun;54(6):884-918556498
Cites: J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Apr;50(4):451-818404018
The management of mild to moderate dementia presents complex and evolving challenges. Practising physicians are often uncertain about the appropriate approaches to issues such as the disclosure of the diagnosis, driving and caregiver support. In this article, we provide practical guidance on management based on recommendations from the Third Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia.
We developed evidence-based guidelines using systematic literature searches, with specific criteria for the selection and quality assessment of articles, and a clear and transparent decision-making process. We selected articles published from January 1996 to December 2005 that dealt with the management of mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia. Recommendations based on the literature review were drafted and voted on. Consensus required 80% or more agreement by participants. Subsequent to the conference, we searched for additional articles published from January 2006 to April 2008 using the same major keywords and secondary search terms. We graded the strength of evidence using the criteria of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
We identified 1615 articles, of which 954 were selected for further study. From a synthesis of the evidence in these studies, we made 48 recommendations for the management of mild to moderate dementia (28) and dementia with a cerebrovascular component (8) as well as recommendations for addressing ethical issues (e.g., disclosure of the diagnosis) (12). The updated literature review did not change these recommendations. In brief, patients and their families should be informed of the diagnosis. Although the specifics of managing comorbid conditions might require modification, standards of care and treatment targets would not change because of a mild dementia. The use of medications with anticholinergic effects should be minimized. There should be proactive planning for driving cessation, since this will be required at some point in the course of progressive dementia. The patient's ability to drive should be determined primarily on the basis of his or her functional abilities. An important aspect of care is supporting the patient's primary caregiver.
Much has been learned about the care of patients with mild to moderate dementia and the support of their primary caregivers. There is a pressing need for the development, and dissemination, of collaborative systems of care.
Cites: Oncologist. 2000;5(4):302-1110964998
Cites: Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;13(6):535-815956274
The purpose was to examine the use and availability of home and community-based services by men and women with dementia using data from the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey. Variables of interest were based on the Andersen and Newman model and included predisposing, enabling, need, and use of health service variables, perceived unmet health and home care needs, and availability of home and community-based health services. Women reported better health and received more supportive care yet had more unmet home care needs than men.Thus, the caregivers of men with dementia (often their wives) were particularly vulnerable to negative outcomes, as their care recipients had poorer health yet received fewer services. These gender differences should be considered when policies and programs are developed, the needs of care recipients and caregivers are assessed, and services are provided.
The objective of this analysis was to identify the meaning of rurality for registered nurses (RNs) practising in rural and remote Canada.
An existing Statistics Canada definition was used to stratify Canada's 10 provinces into urban and rural areas. As part of a national multi-method study, a random sample of RNs in these rural strata, plus all RNs working in outpost settings and northern territories, were surveyed concerning the nature of nursing practice. Content analysis was used to identify themes from an open-ended question: 'How do you define rural/remote?' Refinement of the themes was conducted by the survey team and credibility was supported through investigator triangulation.
Of the 3933 RNs who responded to the survey (68% response rate), 3412 provided a definition of rural/remote. A subsample of 1285 RNs was used for detailed thematic analysis because these respondents provided definitions with a clear referent to rural and/or to remote; the remaining sample was used for verification of themes.
Four defining themes were identified by RNs for both rural and remote: community characteristics, geographical location, health human and technical resources, and nursing practice characteristics.
The themes can be used as content domains or dimensions of rurality to improve our understanding of how to describe rural communities, including geographical location and nursing practice, from the perspective of RNs.
Erratum In: Aust J Rural Health. 2009 Dec;17(6):350Stewart, Norma L [corrected to Stewart, Norma J]
Inability to walk compromises the well-being of the growing number of nursing home residents with dementia. The purpose of this study was to estimate the incidence and identify predictors of walking disability that may be remediable.
A cohort was followed fortnightly for a year in 15 nursing homes in western Canada. The study participants comprised 120 ambulatory residents with middle-stage Alzheimer's, vascular or mixed dementia. Standardized measures of potential predictors of disability included the Charlson Comorbidity Index, Global Deterioration Scale, and Professional Environment Assessment Protocol. Walking disability was defined as using a wheelchair to go to meals in the dining room.
Incidence of walking disability was 40.8% (95% confidence interval (CI): 32.7-50.2). Approximately half of this (27.0%; 95% CI: 19.7-36.5) was excess disability. Residents with more advanced dementia and living in a less supportive nursing home environment experienced an increased hazard of walking disability (Hazard Ratio (HR): 2.1; 95% CI: 1.2-3.8 and HR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3-4.4 respectively). After adjusting for age, comorbidity and stage of dementia, predictors of excess disability in walking included using antidepressants (HR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.02-4.6), and not using cognitive enhancers (HR: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.03-6.4).
Over half of walking disability in nursing home residents with middle-stage dementia may be modifiable. Creating supportive environments, ensuring access to cognitive enhancer drugs, and preventing and treating depression and the adverse effects of antidepressants, may help to reduce walking disability and excess disability.
The purpose of this study was to examine individual determinants of use of publicly funded home-care nursing and housework assistance by Canadians 18 years and older from 1994 to 1999. Andersen and Newman's Behavioural Model of Health Services Use guided the selection of variables, analyses, and interpretation of the findings. Descriptive, correlation, and multiple logistic regression analyses were completed in each of the first 3 cross-sectional cycles of Statistics Canada's National Population Health Surveys. The determinants of use of housework assistance were older age, female, living alone, lower income, activity restriction, needing help with housework, not hospitalized in the previous year, and having at least 1 chronic condition. The determinants for home nursing tended to be the opposite of those for housework assistance. Between 1994 and 1999, use of housework assistance appeared to decrease and use of nursing services appeared to remain relatively stable. The findings underscore the need to target these 2 discrete subgroups of home-care users and ensure that funding is directed at support services as well as nursing services.
Aboriginal registered nurses have been identified as an essential group in the delivery of health services in First Nations communities. Despite this, there is a lack of information about this group of nurses in Canada. This article presents information about this group taken from two components of a national study, The Nature of Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada: documentary analysis and a national survey of nurses. The aboriginal nurse participants were predominantly female, between the ages of 40 and 49, diploma prepared and with licensure for less than 10 years. The survey data showed 41.4 per cent returned to their home communities to work. The participants noted how they enjoyed the challenges of rural and remote nursing and wanted to raise their families in these small communities. They have been able to create supportive work environments, particularly with their nursing colleagues. The nurses are committed to working in rural and remote communities.